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May 05, 2016 11:57 AM
Another door may be closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, this time in Africa.Mauritania was one of the last countries allowing free entry to Syrians. But in February, it too began demanding visas as officials in North Africa and the Sahel try to stem the flow of migrants and refugees traveling across the Sahara in hopes of reaching Europe.
November 25, 2014 1:28 PM
BAMAKO—Human rights organizations have filed a complaint on behalf of 80 survivors of rape and sexual violence during the occupation of northern Mali.
More than 2,000 women and girls were subject to rape or forced marriages in 2012-2013 when Islamist extremists and separatist rebels took control of Gao and Timbuktu. This is the first independent attempt to bring justice for the victims.
KAYES, MALI— In Kayes, medical staff and national health officials are working to trace, monitor and get health facilities up and running after Mali reported its first case of Ebola last week. There are dozens of people who are in isolation at the regional hospital where the two-year-old girl was treated before dying of the virus. More cases are expected in the coming days.
Katarina Hoije, Jessica Berman
BAMAKO, MALI / WASHINGTON— A clinical trial of a promising Ebola vaccine has gotten underway in the west African country of Mali, which borders Guinea, the epicenter of the deadly viral epidemic that now has killed 4,000 people.
This phase of testing of the experimental vaccine against Ebola began this week in Mali when it was given to three health workers who volunteered. The health workers would be the first to fight the disease if it broke out in Bamako.
Peter Clottey March 06, 2014
An African Union official says the organization’s Mission to Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) has launched a cooperation initiative with countries in the Sahel to combat terrorism as part of efforts to stabilize the region.
DAKAR, SENEGAL — The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says schools in Mali have been training cotton farmers about how to use natural substances in order to reduce the use of dangerous pesticides by 92 percent, while maintaining normal crop yields. The natural pesticides also may save money.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that the introduction of new pest-control methods to cotton growers in Mali “nearly eliminated” the use of toxic pesticides.
SAG-NIONIOGO CAMP, BURKINA FASO — As hundreds of thousands of displaced Malians begin returning to their homes in the north, post-conflict ethnic reconciliation remains a key challenge for officials in Bamako.
But at the Sag-Nioniogo refugee camp in central Burkina Faso, where an ethnic patchwork of uprooted northern Malians have found ways to get past the tensions and live in harmony, divisions over the question of an independent northern Mali persist.
October 22, 2013
GENEVA — The United Nations says it is working on an integrated strategy to deal with the recurring crises in Africa's Sahel region. The U.N. says new approaches are needed to make vulnerable people in the nine Sahelian countries able to cope with the humanitarian emergencies that keep them in poverty and dependent on the international community for aid.
Authorities in Mali say the death toll from a boat accident near the town of Konna last week has more than tripled to 72.
Security Minister Sada Samake says rescuers found were able to refloat the boat and when they did, they found more bodies inside.
During a Friday news conference, government officials said more than 200 people survived the accident.
Investigators say the boat was overloaded with passengers and cargo when it broke apart and sank on the Niger River.
July 27, 2013
BAMAKO — Almost a million Malians remain displaced after ethnic and jihadist violence spread across the north following last year’s coup d’état.
Despite fresh memories of conflict and atrocity, some of those displaced are seeking to return to their hometowns to vote in Sunday’s presidential election.
In a country that was home to only six psychiatrists before the war, aid agencies are seeking to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress, particularly among vulnerable children.
BAMAKO — Malians rank peace and stability as top priorities for the country's next president. They go to the polls Sunday amid tensions in the far northern town of Kidal. It has been occupied by the Tuareg separatist group, the MNLA, since a French-led military intervention against jihadist groups in northern Mali began in January.
What to do about Kidal?
Mali's 27 presidential candidates have tried to strike a delicate balance, pledging to get tough on the country's vast security challenges while fostering reconciliation.
Heather Murdock July 17, 2013
ABUJA, NIGERIA — West African leaders have called for $25 million in international aid to help secure the upcoming elections in Mali. As Guinea-Bissau also prepares for elections, leaders want an end to international sanctions on that country.
Heads of state from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, are meeting this week in the Nigerian capital ahead of elections in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, two countries in turmoil.
DAKAR, SENEGAL — As the rainy season begins in West and Central Africa, meteorological experts are warning of above average rainfall, flash floods and overflowing rivers in the western Sahel. Aid agencies say that early preparation is key to reducing the risks associated with such natural disasters, as well as building up people’s resilience to deal with the aftermath.
Experts from the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) say that rainfall in West and Central Africa could exceed 130 percent of normal precipitation this year.
Last updated on: June 12, 2013 7:06 PM
A team of officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is in Mali to assess the security and political situation in the approach to the country’s July 28 presidential election.
Sonny Ugoh, the ECOWAS communications director, said the fact finding mission is part of the regional bloc’s plans to restore constitutional rule in Mali and maintain its territorial integrity.
“This is consistent with the requirement of our protocol on democracy and good governance…,” Ugoh said.
NIAMEY — Niger is offering cash rewards to anyone reporting a case of Guinea worm as part of efforts to permanently eradicate the parasitic disease in the impoverished West African nation, the health ministry said.
Though it once afflicted around 3.5 million people annually across Asia and Africa, according to the U.S.-based Carter Center, Guinea worm disease is now on the verge of being eradicated worldwide.
Last updated on: March 19, 2013 10:16 AM
The ongoing conflict in Mali has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. The toll can be devastating as families are uprooted and forced to live in circumstances that they are not used to.
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, IDMC, found for women and girls, it is especially traumatic. On top of the harsh rules they are now living under in a new location, there are countless reports of sexual violence, even forced marriages of very young girls to their assailants.
March 05, 2013
TRIPOLI, LIBYA — Since Moammar Gadhafi was ousted as Libya’s leader over a year ago, Egyptian officials have been intercepting large caches of weapons smuggled from Libya destined for black-market transfer to Syria and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
But in recent weeks the pattern of the arms shipments has shifted, according to officials, and fundamentalist Muslim groups in Egypt, known as Salafis, also are receiving the weapons.
February 26, 2013
GENEVA — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is appealing for $45 million to meet the emergency needs of women and children affected by the Malian crisis for the next three months. UNICEF says it has received little money so far to help a quarter-million people displaced inside Mali, as well as an estimated 170,000 refugees who have fled to neighboring Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
Nancy Palus February 18, 2013
As soldiers in Mali continue working to root out armed militants, aid organizations are navigating rivers and mined roads to bring relief to communities affected by the fighting. Some 36,000 people have fled their homes since fighting began in January, but families who stayed also need help.
Aid agencies say families in northern Mali are running dangerously low on food.
Residents of the newly liberated Malian city of Timbuktu looted stores owned by Arabs and Tuaregs suspected of collaborating with Islamist militants who fled earlier this week.
Witnesses say Malian soldiers stood by while people stole almost everything they could lift up and carry. The occupiers had imposed strict Islamic law in the city, including a dress code and a ban on music.